So far, the journey of parenting has been adventurous, humbling, and fresh. I was told that when you have a child, you realize that you will truly love someone more than you love yourself. My heart swells, and I begin to open my wallet whenever my daughter looks up at me and cracks a smile. Her eyes resemble the moon: they are bright; and they are enticing. Many times, I find myself in a trance as I peer at my reflection in them, like one into a crystal ball, and as I see what she sees, I imagine what she may think of me. I never thought I would be that parent who makes the “goo goo ga ga” noises. I believed this up until the first time my daughter locked eyes with me and giggled. Now I make “goo goo ga ga” noises all the time, hoping to make her giggle again.
For all of the great moments I have already shared with my daughter, there has been quite a few challenging ones. It hasn’t always been rainbows, unicorns, flowers, buttercups and whatever else represents things that should make us happy happy happy as my grandmother would say (For as long as I can remember, she has always repeated things three times). Sometimes when the mother and her readily available breast milk leaves, it can feel like we are trapped on an island, surrounded by nothing but water and a screaming baby. Let me emphasize that last part again…A SCREAMING BABY. Maaaaaan the set of vocals on my daughter at three months is mind numbing. I swear if I had a significant amount of hair, I would probably just pull it all out.
It can be maddening, especially when she is screaming at the top of her lungs and there is nothing wrong…ah the joys of parenting.
However, like Professor Farnsworth, I am here bearing good news everyone! I reached out to other fathers that I know and asked if they could submit a tip that they have learned from their experience with their children, something that would be helpful to another father. I wanted to make this post to support all of the other fathers out there, new and experienced. I have no idea what I am doing, but I am learning more and more every day. I know there are others out there who feel like me, so I made this post for you. Hopefully this list can help all of us on our different journeys with raising our kids. I feel like there should be more positive things related to parenting written in support of us. I want to show that there are men out here who love their families and are invested in the lives of their children.
Also, the contributions do not have to stop here. If you are reading this and you would still like to contribute, submit a tip to the comment section. Big shout out to all of the men who submitted a tip. I felt good compiling this list because I knew there was a possibility that this information could help someone else, and that should make you feel good as well.
Without further ado, here is a list of helpful tips for fathers of newborns and toddlers:
- No one can tell you how to raise your seed. Stand firm in what you believe in and instill that into the child. (SB)
- Present your child with different stimuli to keep them engaged. (DM)
- For newborns, just in case you are in a hurry and forget to bring something, make sure to keep an emergency bag in your car. (JS)
- When you have your newborn, let the mom rest and you do most of watching the kid. Make sure you get up when the baby starts to cry. Remember, the mom just gave birth,which is a phenomenal and tough thing for sure. She will need rest. (EQ)
- Teaching your kids the little lessons you have learned in life is more important than what you can buy them. (JJ)
- Don’t shake the baby! (TA)
- Check your temper. Kids are going to do a lot of things that will upset you. Lashing out or being violent has never been a good parenting technique and could set a bad example for them. (TS)
- Pull ups rip on the sides like diapers. I thought they had to be taken on and off like panties/underwear, which made for not so great moments when there was a number 2 waiting for me. (SG)
- Kids grow up way too fast, that’s why the journey of raising a newborn/toddler is very important to me. Those moments when my son was innocent and helpless were priceless. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I think every father should experience this bond because it doesn’t last as long as it should. Before you know it, your child will be a toddler getting into everything and you will miss the newborn stage. But, teaching my son is the most exciting part of fatherhood. He watches my every move, and I’m here to guide him. (DP)
- Feed the baby, and then change the diaper. It will make life much easier for you. (PP)
- Enjoy the time as an infant because kids grow fast. (JW)
- To all the new fathers out there struggling to change a diaper, don’t rush it fellas. Women are natural experts. They can change a diaper within 5 seconds with one wipe. And then, they talk about how long it takes us. Don’t sweat it guys. We are doing the best we can. I look at it like this: I take my time and use more wipes to assure that the baby’s bottom is clean and there’s nothing wrong with that. (BB)
- It is never to early to discipline your child. Get them in the habit early because children will be hard-headed from birth. (SB)
- Watch how your child sleeps. If you learn their sleeping tendencies, you can combat SIDS and help your child eventually sleep through the night. (DM)Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. You can find more information about SIDS: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20020269 (“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”, Mayo Clinic)
- When with your newborn, make sure you master the “burrito baby”, which is wrapping the baby in a cover. This does wonders! The baby will sleep better because being in the “burrito”is closely related to being in the womb. (EQ)
- Change the baby fast to avoid getting peed on. (TA)
- You have kids, but you are raising adults. Know the difference between talking back and voicing their opinions. Teach them that their opinions are valid. (TS)
- Be careful swinging kids from their arms. My daughter ended up with something called Nursemaid’s elbow which is like a dislocated elbow. She was only about 1 or 2 years old at the time. (SG)Nursemaid’s elbow is a common injury of early childhood. It is sometimes referred to as “pulled elbow” because it occurs when a child’s elbow is pulled and partially dislocates. The medical term for the injury is “radial head subluxation.”Because a young child’s bones and muscles are still developing, it typically takes very little force to pull the bones of the elbow partially out of place, making this injury very common. It occurs most often in children ages 1 to 4, but can happen any time from birth up to age 6 or 7 years old. More information at http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00717 (“Nursemaid’s Elbow”, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
- When dealing with newborns, make sure to clean in between every nook and cranny. Clean between every chin and neck roll (my baby has two of each). I think milk drips in the rolls of the baby’s neck. If the milk sits there too long, it can smell really REALLY nasty. I started using bibs, and they seem to work well so far. (PP)
- For toddlers, do everything with them such as eating, brushing their teeth, and washing their face. If you do these things with them, they will begin to like to do them and they won’t feel forced. Eventually they will be willing to do them on their own. (JW)
- If you feel like something is wrong with your baby, ALWAYS get a second opinion. It won’t hurt to be assured. (BB)
- When watching the child alone, do your prep work early. (SB)
- Don’t be afraid to have daddy time. Children naturally have a relationship with their mother, so it is upon us as fathers to create our own bond. Find those moments where you can spend quality uninterrupted time with your child. (DM)
- When with your toddlers, make sure you watch over them at all times. Here is a list of things that you can do safely with your toddlers: Breathe. Yep, that’s it. (EQ)
- Someone is going to have sex with your daughter one day. Just accept it and teach them the game. You can’t control everything they do, but you can teach them the proper way to think about situations. (TS)
- Be VERY patient. From time to time, you have to remind yourself that they are explorers and new learners. (JW)
- When you are with your toddlers, make sure you tell yourself that these are just children and not terrorist because surely their daily activities will make you think that they are. (EQ)
- For newborns that wake up in the middle of the night, talk to them while you rock them to sleep. Babies are more likely to calm down when they hear a voice they recognize. (JW)
- Always pack a back up outfit in the baby bag… and a back up for the back up lol (DG)
- Make sure you check the pamper every hour or two (AD)
Thanks again everyone for contributing. If you have more tips, leave them in the comment section. Share this post with your friends if this was helpful. Also, make sure to join the mailing list to be informed of all my new post.
About the Author: Phil Purkett Jr.
Founder and Creator of Some Guy in Space. Second of his name. Real cool dude. Sexy.